Posts Tagged Treadmill

Emotional

The packing has begun. I got a lot done yesterday and even more done today. I’ve got one room mostly packed with just a few odds and ends left to take care of. I also started on a second room and have a huge pile of things to donate and three huge black trash bags full of garbage. Curtis also started packing the basement. We only have about 17 packing days left and I’ll be working 12 of those days. Crazy.

What with packing all day and a phone call that upset me a bit, I didn’t feel up to going to the gym. I am trying to have some genetic testing for a hereditary type of cancer that I am at risk for inheriting and the doctor’s office is not on top of things. I had to call the insurance company and speak someone who knew nothing about this specific test and I think he just told me what he thought I wanted to hear. Finally, I was able to find a number for someone at the insurance agency who deals with this test specifically, so I’m hoping that things will be ok. I’m waiting for some paperwork in the mail, but fingers-crossed things are taken care of now. I just want it to be over with and get the results!

Needless to say, I was a bit emotional yesterday and a workout probably would have made me feel better, but I opted to stay home and go to the gym this morning instead. Curtis and I both went to the gym and it was surprisingly busy for a Saturday morning, but fortunately, after our warm-ups both squat racks were available for use. I did NROLW Stage 5 Workout B:

A. Barbell Romanian deadlift/bent-over row – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 100 lbs

B1. Partial single-leg squat – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 1st @ 20 lbs, 2nd/3rd/4th @ 22.5 lbs

B2. Wide-grip lat pulldown – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 95 lbs

C1. Back extension – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 35 lbs

C2. YTWL – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 12.5 lbs

D1. Swiss-ball crunch – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ 12.5 lbs overhead

D2. Hip flexion – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ BW (Prone Jackknife)

D3. Lateral flexion – 4 sets of 4 reps with 120s rest @ BW

Then I did intervals:

1 min @ walk 3.5 mph

2 min @ run 12:00 min/mile

1 min @ run 6:40 min/mile

2 min @ run 12:00 min/mile

1 min @ run 6:40 min/mile

2 min @ run 12:00 min/mile

1 min @ run 6:40 min/mile

2 min @ walk 3.5 mph

1 min @ run 6:40 min/mile

2 min @ walk 3.5 mph

1 min @ run 6:40 min/mile

1 min @ run 12:00 min/mile

5 min cool down

I wanted to add another interval to the normal HIIT prescribed by NROLW. I needed more recovery than usual today and had to walk after the 3rd and 4th intervals. I think I may have been a bit dehydrated and that probably played a role. My heart rate got up to at least 200 bpm during the 3rd interval, so I made sure to recover to the 150s range before beginning the 4th and 5th.

I might break the rules and do another workout tomorrow evening. It will be more than 24 hours rest so I think it’ll be okay just this once. I’ll play it by ear tomorrow if I’m overly sore, but I expect I’ll be able to do the last workout A of the phase.

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Back to the Gym

After a short work day today, I headed to the gym to meet Curtis and his dad for a workout.  I got there first and actually did a lifting workout.  Woohoo!  I was feeling more than a little discouraged last time I lifted because all the weights that used to be light for me felt so heavy.  Tonight was much better though.  Since I’m easing into weight lifting, I kept the weights light for this first session just to get used to it again.  I did workout A from stage 1 of the NROLW:

A. Squat – 2 sets of 15 reps @ 65 lbs barbell with 60 s RI

B1. Push-up – 2 sets of 15 reps @ BW with 60 s RI

B2. Seated row – 2 sets of 15 reps @ plate 7/8 with 60 s RI (not sure of the weight of the plates, it was probably about 50 lbs?)

C1. Step-ups – 2 sets of 15 reps @ 15 lbs dumbbells with 60 s RI

C2. Prone jackknife – 2 sets of 8 reps @ BW with 60 s RI

After my lifting, I got on the treadmill for about 35 minutes and did alternating 5 minutes walking with 5 minutes running.  I haven’t been on the treadmill in months and it was incredibly boring.  I can’t believe I spent all last winter running on the treadmill to train for my half-marathon, because I know there’s no way I could do that now.  I think my only saving grace was that the Olympics were on for so much of the time last winter.

Tomorrow I’m going running with a friend after work.  We’re planning to run outside, so I’m hoping the temperature drops to a tolerable level by the time we go- it’s supposed to reach 91 degrees tomorrow!  I thought we were done with the summer heat, but apparently it’s not quite gone yet.

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Stuck on the Treadmill

When is this crazy weather going to end?  I don’t think the mid-Atlantic has ever seen this much snow in one year before!  Now that we’ve gotten past the two storms last week, forecasters are calling for more snow on Monday.  Granted, it’s not going to be nearly as much.  I’ve heard forecasters calling for 2-4 inches and 6 inches, so we’ll see what happens.  I did pretty well getting my workouts in last week, despite the snow on the ground.  After being stuck in the house all day Wednesday and taking an easy day on the trainer, I did manage to make it to the gym on Thursday.  The plan called for 6 miles including 4 x 2:00 aerobic intervals plus 6 gentle pickups.  And believe it or not, I actually completed the workout as written!  Including my warm-up and cool-down and the walking rests for the pickups, I did a total of 7.63 miles in 90 minutes (11:47 pace including the walking).  I wore my heart rate monitor chest strap, but forgot my watch, so I don’t have anything other than average heart rate of 140 bpm, which I think is wrong.  There were a few times when my heart rate seemed quite off.

Friday was a true day off, as planned.  Today, I had a 5-6 miler on the schedule, so Curtis and I headed to the gym after a lazy morning.  I hopped on a treadmill while he went off for a swim.  I’ve been realizing lately how important a good warm-up is to the success of my run.  Often I’ll be in a hurry to get the miles in and be more likely to just hop on and start running at a slow pace (relative).  This doesn’t really lend itself to strong runs though, and I nearly always end up feeling winded early on and being unable to sustain the pace I’d like to (10-minute miles or faster).  Today, I did a half mile warm up of a quick walk (4.0 mph), which seemed to really do the trick.  I managed to run 3 miles at 10 minute mile pace (6.0 mph) and then turned it up to 6.2 mph and 6.5 mph for the 4th and 5th miles.  I felt fantastic!  Heart rate stats (running only, no warm-up or cool-down):

Duration: 48:47 (9:45 pace)

Average Heart Rate: 156

Maximum Heart Rate: 192

Calories: 466

I’m really excited for my 10 miler tomorrow (except the treadmill part)!  I would love to knock it out at a 10 minute mile pace and finish in under 2 hours, but I really should just worry about completing the miles.  I must admit, going into it with a fantastic run today under my belt has done great things for my motivation.  I’ve been feeling really blah about running lately being stuck on the treadmill.  I can’t wait for the snow to melt so I can get back on the trails!  Right now, they’re almost clear enough to run – my town is fantastic about plowing all the trails (usually before the roads even get done!), but the have just enough ice to make me nervous. Look out for an update on my first double-digit run tomorrow!

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Blog Award :)

Wow!  I got my first ever blog award from Ginesa over at Destination : Athlete.  Thanks, Ginesa!  The rules for the award are:

1. Copy the image and display it on your blog.

2. List 10 things that make you happy.

3. Try to do at least one of them today.

4. Pass on the award to 10 bloggers who brighten your day.

Ten things that make me happy are:

1. My husband, Curtis – he’s my best friend!

2. My pets, Suli (cat) and Tara (dog) – they never cease to amuse me with their crazy antics.

3. Finishing a race – the feeling of elation will never get old.

4. Cooking for friends – sharing a meal with others always makes me happy.

5. Running in the springtime – early morning, cool breezes and new spring flowers!

6. Weight training – it’s such an exhilarating feeling to be strong!

7. Swimming in open water – a challenge, but always a pleasure.

8. My friends – no drama during wedding planning- ’nuff said.

9. Bloggers! – for the constant motivation and encouragement.

10. Athletic gear – can’t be a triathlete without a little love for my bike, etc!

I’m only passing it along to 4 bloggers, though (I hope the blog-award police don’t come after me!):

1. Amy

2. Donna at Ride (or Tri!) Like a Girl!

3. Beth at Life after 40

4. Tricia at Endurance Isn’t Only Physical

Now, back to my regularly scheduled training for the day.  I had on my plan to do 3 miles, 2 x [2:00, 3:00, 4:00] aerobic intervals, 2 miles today.  I did most of it…6.2 miles running total – 3 miles, 2 x [2:00, 3:00, 4:00], 0.5 mile.  My excuses for not doing the run are that I was incredibly bored on the treadmill today- watching constant snow storm coverage just wasn’t doing it for me!  It was also nearly 6:00PM and I wanted to shower and get home soon since the 2nd major snow storm of the week was rolling in.  Anyways, total duration on the treadmill was 81 minutes (including warm-up and cool down).  I did wear my heart rate monitor today, so I have stats, which I will update at a later date (my HRM is downstairs and I am already upstairs and in bed).

Heart Rate stats:

Duration: 1:13:44 (this is slightly less than the treadmill time listed above because I forgot to start my watch at the beginning of my workout)

Maximum heart rate: 193

Average heart rate: 174

Calories: 856

Overall, I did not feel great on this run.  I’m getting really tired of running on the treadmill and really annoyed with the snow.  Virginia doesn’t usually get more than one major snowstorm per year (at the most!) and we’re having our 3rd as I type.  It’s crazy how much snow we’ve gotten this year.  The running trails are somewhat passable, but I just know I slip and fall on the ice and probably do more harm than good trying to run outside.  Can’t wait for spring!

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Brrr…

It is bitter cold outside!  I think all the east-coasters are getting hit with this cold snap and sub-freezing temperatures plus massive wind chill.  It’s pretty miserable-even just a few minutes outside requires bundling.  The dog has major cabin fever because I’ve been bad about getting her outside and exercised.  We went for a walk today and it was frigid.

We did take some time today to get out to the store and get fitted for new running shoes!  They did video gait analysis of my walking and running gaits and helped me find some new shoes.  When I walk, I overpronate slightly, but the woman at the store said I had a really nice running gait and the pronation went away with the increase in speed.  So, I went with a Mizuno shoe with light support and no extra cushioning.  I love the light-weight feel of these shoes, and they already held up well on today’s treadmill run.  I have 2 weeks to try them out indoor and if they don’t work out, to return them.  So far, so good though.  I also picked up a hydration belt that holds one water bottle and some new elastic laces.  These are a different type of laces than the once I’ve used before, but they look promising.  I’ll probably try them out later this week.

As I mentioned, I ran at the gym today on the treadmill.  The plan called for 7-8 miles, and I did the full 8 miles!  I felt fantastic!  The foot pain that I’ve been experiencing with my old shoes was significantly decreased, but not completely gone.  The problem is no longer with my arches though, which I think is a good sign.  The pain is more of a light soreness in my ankles; it almost feels as though they’re just weak and need to be strengthened.  I kept this run slow and easy with just slight changes in pace and incline to keep it interesting.

0-1 mile @ 1% incline – 5.0  mph

1-2 mile @ 1% incline – 5.5 mph

2-3 mile @ 1% incline – 6.0 mph

3-4 mile @ .5% incline – 6.0 mph

4-5 mile @ 0% incline – 6.0 mph

5-6 mile @ 0% incline – 5.8 mph

6-7 mile @ 0% incline – 5.5 mph

7-8 mile @ 0% incline – 5.2 mph

I was a bit annoyed with the treadmill I used because it had a maximum time of 60 minutes, so I had to restart at around the 5.6 mile mark and continue in a “new workout”.  The gym has some treadmills that are limited to 60 minutes and some that are 90 minutes, so I’ll have to remember for future long runs to seek out the 90 minute maximum time treadmills.

I do have heart rate stats today:

Duration – 1:26:16

Maximum Heart Rate – 184

Average Heart Rate – 164

Calories – 893

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Getting into the Groove

Wow!  I can’t believe I’ve been home for two weeks, and I haven’t written a decent blog post yet!  My poor blog, I’ve been neglecting you.  My training, however, is not suffering quite as much, and I’m finally starting to get back into the groove.  I’ve only got seven weeks before Nation’s, so I really need to pick it up.  I’ve put together a very basic training plan with the help of beginnertriathlete.com, which I’m going to post tonight on a new “training” page.  I kind of gave up on my “annual training plan” that I put together for the rest of the season.  After this last week and a half of starting up again, I’ve realized how much my fitness deteriorated over the three weeks I took off.  It’s amazing how fast you lose endurance and strength.  Granted, I hadn’t been terribly dedicated prior to the wedding and honeymoon, but I was definitely doing better than I am now.  I haven’t had a great lifting session yet, I feel like I’m lifting lighter and failing more quickly than I had previously.  My running and biking have also suffered.  I’m back to building a base with running, and am going to have to put a hold on working on speed till I get my endurance back into shape.  I’m hoping that I’m able to run a 10K without breaks again by the end of the first week of August.  Cycling isn’t doing quite so poorly.  I biked 31 miles on Sunday, and even though my legs were dead by the end, I think my bike fitness will come back more quickly than the running.

Now before I get into a recap of my training over the past two weeks, I wanted to share a couple of “teaser” photos of Fiji and the wedding.  This first picture is the view from our private deck of our bure in the Yasawa Islands of Fiji.

Fiji - Navutu

Here’s a great sunset picture that Curtis took while we were on Taveuni, the “garden island”.

Fiji-Nakia

I had a really hard time picking just one wedding photo, so…here are three.

K&C (98)

K&C (263) - Copy

K&C2 (198)

What a blur of a fabulous day!  It was wonderful, but I never ever want to do it again!  One wedding is enough for me, thank you very much! 🙂

Now, back to my not-so-regularly scheduled training recap.  After we got back, it took awhile to get over the jet lag and start to feel like we were in the right time zone, so the first weekend I didn’t do much.  I think just a half-hour run on Sunday, if that.  Monday was back to work, and it was all topsy turvy.  While I was gone, my company (a very small company of 9 employees) was acquired by a very large company (40,000+ employees).  So, when I got back to work we had all kinds of orientation things to do.  Needless to say, I didn’t get to do any workout that day.  Tuesday, though, I went to weight training and lifted.  I felt so weak!  And I was very sore the next day, much more sore than I remember being in the recent past.  As a result, I decided not to do anything on Wednesday.  Thursday, I had training again, and ran for about 20 minutes on the treadmill, then came home and ran for another 25 minutes with Curtis, followed by a 10 minute walk.

On Friday, I took a short hour long bike ride and felt like I was going nowhere!  I only managed to do about 10 miles in that 60 minutes.  I accidentally cleared my cycling computer before I got a chance to check my stats.  The way my computer is mounted on the stem, sometimes I grab it when I’m walking with my bike and don’t realize that I’m holding down the computer at the same time.  Oops!  Luckily, I was much more careful on Sunday (day off on Saturday) after my 31 mile ride.  Curtis and I went on a new part of the trail that I rode on at my old house, and it was wonderful!  There were very few road crossings and a lot more trees and countryside to enjoy.  The weather was perfect and it was an altogether fabulous ride.  We were both pretty tired by the end of it, but very pleased with the distance.  The only glitch in the day was that Curtis’s tire developed a leak at the end of the first half of the ride, so we stopped at 15.5 miles for him to put air in it.  There was a huge blackberry bush there, but the berries weren’t quite ripe yet.  I’m hoping they’ll make for a nice mid-ride snack this weekend or next weekend. 🙂  We had to stop one more time on the way home to put air in the tire, and by the end of the ride it was quite flat.  My ride was fabulous though, I had no bicycle problems at all.  Stats: 31.07 miles, 14.6 mph average, 26.9 mph max, 2 hours 7 minutes total ride time.

Monday was back to weight training as usual, I’m still not doing as well as I had been, but it was better.  My abs have been killing me since, though!  I also did a short 20 minute run on the treadmill.  Tuesday was an unintentional day off.  I was planning to swim with Curtis after work, but the pool was closed!  I didn’t have any other workout clothes with me to do anything at the gym, so we ended up going out to eat and relaxing for the evening instead.  More weight training on Wednesday, preceded by a 45 minute run on the treadmill.  I tried to do some faster intervals, but my heartrate is climbing really fast, so I did a lot more jogging than speed work.  I’m hoping my run fitness builds back pretty quickly, otherwise I’m going to be walking a lot at Nations. 😦

I planned another swim today, but unfortunately, my plans were foiled again.  After 450m into my warm-up, the lifeguards kicked us out because of the rain.  I love swimming in the rain, but they have to close the pool if they can’t see the bottom.  Major bummer.  I considered waiting it out to see if the rain would stop, but after about 5 minutes gave up, showered, and went home.  As I was leaving, I was worried that the sun was going to be out and I had just given up a workout for nothing, but then I heard thunder and was glad I hadn’t wasted the time sitting by the pool.

Tomorrow is my scheduled off day, and I’m going to use it even though I didn’t get in all my workouts this week.  I have two bachelorette parties to attend this weekend and the first one is tomorrow evening so I doubt I’d even have time for anything.  Next workout will be Saturday- I have a long run planned, we’ll see how it goes!

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Back to the Grindstone

I’m here!  Sorry, I’ve been terrible about blogging the past couple of days.  I was pretty busy over the weekend doing wedding planning stuff and didn’t have quite as much time for working out as I would have liked.  I only got in about a half hour easy bike ride (all in Zone 1).  I’m not too torn up about it though, I still consider that part of my week “off” after the race.  But now it’s time to get back to the grindstone.  Yesterday, I did 45 minutes of weight training- the usual consisting of some core work and then full body workouts.  Then I ran a mile on the treadmill and walked some to cool-down.

I’ve almost got my training plan for the next 18 weeks figured out.  I’m using Joe Friel’s guide to create an annual training plan in The Triathlete’s Training Bible.  I’ve just truncated it to fit the last weeks of this season for me.  If things go well with it, I expect I’ll use it for my next year’s training as well, with the end goal of possibly doing a half-Ironman in the fall.  We’ll see.  The first step was to determine goals and figure out how many annual training hours I can complete.  I based my program on 450 annual hours.  My three main goals are:

1. Complete the Olympic distance triathlon in 3:40.

2. Improve my run speed to be able to run a 10K at a 9 minute mile pace.

3. Improve bike strength to be able to sustain a 90+ cadence for at least 60 minutes.

Based on these goals and the annual training hours, I’ve broken down my schedule into six different periods- two base periods, two build periods, a peak, and race periods.  I’ve also assigned specific targets for each week for each sport.  Every fourth week is a rest and recovery week.  My final step is to plan out each week’s workouts.  The book has some example workouts to use, so I’ll probably incorporate some of those and make up some of my own as well.

The weather was gorgeous tonight for my bike ride.  My focus for this ride was endurance, and I wanted to stay mostly in Zone 2 with a few Zone 3 efforts included.  I rode west on the trail, which is opposite the direction that I usually ride, because it has a few good short hill efforts to play with.  My total workout was a little bit over 22 miles.  I felt really great on the first half, I was riding in my big chain ring and pushing a high cadence the whole time (I should really get a cycling computer so I can record this).  My heartrate hovered between 160-165, with a few efforts to 170+.  The second half took a much greater effort to keep my cadence high, and I didn’t manage to stay in the big chain ring the whole time.  On the bright side, I’ve noticed a HUGE improvement since the last time I did this ride and was hurting by the end of the first leg.  The whole workout took about 1:42 minutes.  The first and last mile were my warm-up and cool-down, so without those, I did 20 miles in 1:22, which is 14.2 mph.  I had finished the first half in exactly 40 minutes, so I was a bit slower on the second half.  But, I knew I needed to work on my bike endurance and strength, so at least my goals are in the right place.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the time includes the numerous stops at road-crossings.  As I get further on the trail, there are less crossings, and there are even fewer after my turnaround point, but I don’t like to go too far on evening rides since I don’t have a light and don’t want to get caught out after dark.  As a result of all the stops, I’ve gotten a lot better at clipping in and out of my pedals.  I still have my moments (like today when I almost fell but managed to save myself at the last second!), but I don’t un-clip 25 yard in advance of a possible stopping point anymore.  I did witness another cyclist fall today, though, luckily he was alright!  I think he was just thinking about too many things at one time because he was passing some walkers, another cyclist was coming toward him and he was approaching the road crossing, all at the same time!  I’m glad I managed to finish my ride without incident!

I’m going to try and be better about blogging this week, but I will warn you that I probably won’t be doing much this weekend.  I’m going scuba diving to get my open water certification, and I expect to be pretty tired after being in the water all morning Saturday and Sunday.

P.S. This blog post took me 2.5 hours to write because I am watching the Biggest Loser, and haven’t been able to concentrate!

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Unstructured Training

Thanks, everyone for your congratulatory messages and good thoughts on Saturday!  It definitely helped me to know that I was going to have to own up to my results on this blog.  I can’t wait to see how your tri’s go.  🙂

I decided to take it somewhat easy this week, and not plan out my training too much.  I’ve got a rough training schedule, but nothing is really set in stone for this week except weight lifting yesterday and tomorrow.  I’m going to sit down and plan out the rest of the season to get to the Oly later this week.  Starting next week, that gives me eighteen weeks until the tri.  Although, I am going to be away for three weeks this summer for my honeymoon in Fiji!  So, I can’t count on doing a whole lot of working out (especially biking), but I think that’s ok.

Anyways, yesterday I had weight training.  It’s the beginning of a new session, so we’re only doing single sets right now, and it goes by really fast.  I started out trying to remember everything and keep track of the weights we were lifting, but I quickly lost track.  After this 13 week session, I might attempt to do weight training on my own.  I bought a copy of the New Rules of Weight Lifting for Women, and I’m looking forward to reading it and seeing what else I can get out of lifting.  I do love the small group aspect of training, but I would like to learn to do things on my own.  It gets pretty expensive to do the training sessions. We’ll see how it goes.

After lifting, I decided to run on the treadmill for a bit.  I ended up running for 3.5 miles (40 minutes) and doing 20 minutes of walking split between my warm-up and cool-down.  I actually felt pretty good after my run.

Today, I debated whether to swim, bike or run, and opted to run again.  I’m thinking I really need to ramp up my running intensity and volume if I’m going to get any better at it.  I’m going to aim for three runs a week, including one long run on the weekends.  Tonight’s run on the treadmill was intervals.  I did a total of 3.7 miles in 40 minutes, including a 10 minute walking cool-down.  Here’s the whole workout:

5 minutes @ 5.5 mph (11 minute mile pace)

2 minutes @ 7.0 mph (8:30 minute mile pace)

2 minutes @ 7.4 mph (8:06 minute mile pace)

1 minute @ 6.0 mph (10:00 minute mile pace)

5 minutes @ 5.5 mph (11 minute mile pace)

2 minutes @ 7.8 mph (7:41 minute mile pace)

1 minute @ 6.0 mph (10:00 minute mile pace)

2 minutes @ 5.0 mph (12:00 minute mile pace)

2 minutes @ 5.7 mph (10:30 minute mile pace)

2 minutes @ 6.0 mph (10:00 minute mile pace)

2 minutes @ 6.3 mph (9:30 minute mile pace)

2 minutes @ 6.6 mph (9:05 minute mile pace)

2 minutes @ 6.9 mph (8:42 minute mile pace)

10 minutes cool-down

I forgot to wear my heart rate monitor, so I was relying on my perceived exertion to track my effort.  I think I pushed pretty hard today, so I’m happy with my workout.  I’ve still got a lot of work to do on my running though.  I’d like to get to the point where an 8-minute mile pace is a base interval and not such an exertion.  I know I can do it.

I hoping to get in some biking this week, but he weather has been gross here, and it’s not really supposed to get any better till Thursday.  I’m thinking about trying out a spinning class this week.  I need to check the class schedule at the gym and find a good time.

Thanks again, blog friends, for all your support!

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Buoyancy WOW!

What an exciting day for training!  I had a really good treadmill workout, followed by a good swim and a surprise when I got home.  First things first, I did a 45 minute run on the treadmill today and just over 4.5 miles.  Starting with a 10 minute warm-up at a 10-minute mile pace, I knew I was going to have a good day.  It’s hard to believe that when I started training this season in January I could barely run for 10 minutes at a time at a 4.5 mph pace!  I’ve made progress, and I’m hoping I only continue to get stronger and faster.  Anyways, continuing on with my run today, I did 4 sets of intervals alternating 3 minutes at an increased pace and 3 minutes rest at 10-minute mile pace.  The four faster intervals, I did at 6.5 mph, 6.7 mph, 7.0 mph, and 7.2 mph (about 8:20 minute mile pace).  I finished up with a cool down at decreasing speeds for the last 11 minutes.  After running I headed for the showers to rinse off before swimming.

Swimming was awesome.  I decided to try out my new wetsuit and see how it is in the water.  I put it on at the pool’s edge so that I wouldn’t overheat in the locker room.  It takes 5-10 minutes to get on, so I”m sure that I got more than my fair share of funny looks from other swimmers.  A guy got in at the other end of my lane and swam down to me to ask if I was going to swim in “that”.  I felt like saying that I was only putting it on for kicks and giggles, but thought better of it and just gave him the ok to swim in the lane with me.  I swam 50 yards (the pool I usually swim at is a 25 meter pool, but this one is only 25 yards) to get the feel of it and needed to do a little adjusting.  I swam a 300 yard freestyle warm-up, and whoa, was I ever warmed-up!  The wetsuit is definitely going to serve its purpose in keeping me warm during my tri’s.  I made a few more adjustments so the arms would be a little less snug in the shoulder after the 300 before continuing with my workout.  I did two more 3o0 yard sets to warm-up and then got to the main set of 10×50 yard sprints.  WOW!  The extra buoyancy from the wetsuit made me feel like I was flying through the water.  I’m pretty sure it increased my speed by keeping my body more streamlined.  The only downside was that it does wear on the arms a bit more than swimming without.  I definitely felt like I got a good strength workout on my arms just from wearing it.  I suppose that could be partially attributed to positioning?  I’ll have to do some more experimenting.  Anyways, I finished up with another 300 yard freestyle to cool-down.

I almost forgot to mention that I bought some Luna bars today at the grocery store and I tried the “Toasted Nuts ‘n Cranberry” as my pre-workout snack.  I liked the taste quite a lot, and I had plenty of energy for my workout.  So, it’s an A in my book for now.  I was inspired to buy them after reading about them on Susan‘s blog.  I didn’t realize that they are made by Clif!

I’m sure you’ve all been waiting to hear what my surprise was…my heart rate monitor came!  I’m so excited!  Sorry, I know that probably wasn’t as great as expected, but I can’t wait to start training with it.  I’m spending the rest of the evening figuring out how to work it.  🙂

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Running Cadence

Finally!  I felt really good during my swim today, both strong and confident.  It’s been awhile since I’ve had such a strong swim workout.  Swimming is by far my strongest event in triathlon.  I started swimming in kindergarten for my neighborhood swim team and swam for my high school swim team.  In high school, I started swimming the 500m freestyle and found my true calling in endurance swimming.  Since a lot of triathletes come from running or cycling backgrounds (more so than swimming), I found that I was particularly good at swimming in triathlon.  So, I’ve been quite discouraged since my last race putting on an entire minute to a 250yd swim (plus transition).  Anyways, back to the workout.  I did 2000m total, starting with a 300m Swim, 300m Kick (with kickboard), 300m Swim warm-up.  I followed that with 10x100m mixed sets of backstroke, breastroke, 2x freestyle, butterfly drill, IM, 2x freestyle.  Then I did a 300m freestyle swim to finish up.

After drying off a bit, I headed to the treadmills to do my easy (optional) run.  I did 2 miles in roughly 20 minutes.  I started out at 6.6 mph for 5 minutes (~9-minute mile pace), then 6 mph for 10 minutes (10-minute mile pace), and finally 5.5 mph for 10 minutes (~11-minute mile pace).  I spent most of the time experimenting with my running cadence.  I’ve read a few articles lately that studies have shown that world-class endurance athletes all run at an optimal cadence of 85-95 per minute.  I think my natural cadence is about 70 per minute, which is calculated by counting the number of left (or right) foot strikes in one minute.  I played around with increasing my cadence to 90 to see what that did for me.  Wow, it is hard to take that many steps per minute!  I did notice a significant difference in my running style and the impact on my legs.  Instead of feeling strained and tired like they usually do, my legs felt efficient and light.  I settled into an average cadence of about 86 cycles per minute for the rest of my workout.  This is really something I’m going to have to work into my running to see what kind of long term affects there are.  I’m hoping that maybe this will make me a more efficient and faster runner.  I’ll be sure to update on my experiments with cadence in the future.

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